Firefighters with combined service of 430 years recognised at ceremony in Aberdeen

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Assistant Chief Officer Robert Scott was in Aberdeen last night to present staff with their long service awards. He also presented three Chief Officer commendations.

Full Group Aberdeen LSGC

A group of dedicated firefighters who have protected the public for a combined 430 years have been recognised for their achievement.

The 16 men and women were presented with six Long Service and Good Conduct medals, nine thirty-year long service certificates and one 40-year long service certificate during a ceremony in Aberdeen last night (15 November 2016).

And three further firefighters received a Chief Officer Commendation for their actions when they attempted to save a woman and young boy.

Their service to their communities was marked by Assistant Chief Officer (ACO) Robert Scott at Aberdeen’s Town House.

He is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Director of Prevention and Protection and served as Head of North Service Delivery in Aberdeen when the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service came into being in 2013.

ACO Scott said: "It is my great honour and pleasure to be here this evening, on behalf of Chief Officer Alasdair Hay, to presents these Long Service Awards, Long Service and Good Conduct medals and a Chief Officer Commendation Award to our staff in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“Tonight’s ceremony is all about our award recipients and I must say that every single one of you has earned this recognition - not only for long and loyal commitment to the service, but for outstanding and exemplary conduct.

“You are a credit to the Service, to your Chief Officer, to the Board and to your communities - but most importantly to yourselves and your families.”

Those who received their Long Service and Good Conduct medals - which recognise 20 years of service - were Firefighters Gordon Hutcheon (Stonehaven), Kenneth Grant (Oldmeldrum) and David Crawford (Fochabers), and Crew Managers Steve Kerridge (Insch), Alan Paterson (Central) and Bruce Souter (Portsoy).

Among those who received their 30-year long service certificates were Watch Managers Dougie Annand (Buckie), Roddy Lees (Banchory), Arthur Smith (Kintore) and Derek Thomson (Aberlour), Temporary Station Manager Denise Cheyne (Control), Crew Managers Gary Michie (Huntly) and Harry Officer (Development Centre Portlethen), Station Manager Gordon Riddel (Central) and Firefighter Paul Shinnie (Banchory).

And Watch Manager John Strachan (Stonehaven) received his 40-year long service certificate from ACO Scott.

ACO Scott added: "This level of commitment over more than twenty years is impressive at the best of times, but, you are receiving your awards and medals after a period of unprecedented change within the Service. 

“Since April 2013, we have merged the former eight legacy services into the largest fire service in the UK - the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“That journey has not been without challenge and it has only been possible due to the commitment shown by our staff including those of you here tonight, and for that I want to offer my personal thanks.”

ACO Scott also presented a Chief Officer Commendation to three fire service personnel for their actions at Aberdeen beach on 20 August this year when they attempted to save a woman and young boy.

Those receiving a commendation were Watch Manager David Gordon, Firefighter Jamie Lawrie and Crew Manager Martin Vardy (all Central).

ACO Scott said: “The Chief Officer’s Certificate of Commendation recognises their actions.

“It is with great sadness that, despite their very best efforts, both mother and son could not be saved. The thoughts of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are with their family, their friends and their community.” 

Also in attendance during the event was Deputy Assistant Chief Officer and Head of Service Delivery in the North, Andy Coueslant, Local Senior Officers Duncan Smith (Aberdeen), David Rout (Aberdeenshire) and SFRS Board members Robin Iffla and Marieke Dwarshuis.

Commendations Group AberdeenThe three crew members who received their Chief Officer's Commendations last night (left to right) - Firefighter Jamie Lawrie, Watch Manager David Gordon and Crew Manager Martin Vardy (all Central)

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